Albutt G, Ali P, Watson R. Preparing nurses to work in primary care: educators’ perspectives. Nurs Stand. 2013; 27:(36)41-46

Ali PA, Watson R, Albutt G. Are English novice nurses prepared to work in primary care setting?. Nurse Educ Pract. 2011; 11:(5)304-308

Arnold H, Willis S, Watts T. Co-developing and implementing a community nursing simulated learning resource for undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Educ Pract. 2021; 56

Baillie L. Factors affecting student nurses’ learning in community placements: a phenomenological study. J Adv Nurs. 1993; 18:(7)1043-1053

Betony K. Clinical practice placements in the community: a survey to determine if they reflect the shift in healthcare delivery from secondary to primary care settings. Nurse Educ Today. 2012; 32:(1)21-26

Byfield Z, East L, Conway J. An Integrative literature review of pre-registration nursing students’ attitudes and perceptions towards primary health care. Collegian. 2019; 26:583-593

Sustainable Healthcare Elective in Nursing: A futures-thinking approach. 2020. (accessed 17 November 2022)

Cooper S, Cant R, Browning M, Robinson E. Preparing nursing students for the future: Development and implementation of an Australian Bachelor of Nursing programme with a community health focus. Contemp Nurse. 2014; 49:68-74

Dean E. Pressure on universities to find more community placements. Nursing Standard. 2010; 24:(52)12-14

Dilig-Ruiz A, MacDonald I, Demery Varin M, Vandyk A, Graham ID, Squires JE. Job satisfaction among critical care nurses: A systematic review. Int J Nurs Stud. 2018; 88:123-134

Gale J, Ooms A, Sharples K, Marks-Maran D. The experiences of student nurses on placements with practice nurses: A pilot study. Nurse Educ Pract. 2016; 16:(1)225-34

Green J, Doyle C, Hayes S, Newnham W, Hill S, Zeller I, Graffin M, Goddard G. District and community nursing-’still doing what we do’ through the pandemic. Br J Community Nurs. 2020; 25:(8)388-389

Holloway I, Galvin K. Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare.: Wiley and Sons; 2017

Keightley E, Pickering M, Allet N. The self-interview: a new method in social science. Int J Soc Res Methodol. 2012; 6:507-521

Lavery J, Henshall C. First year pre-registration nursing student perceptions of community nursing roles: a thematic analysis. Br J Community Nurs. 2022; 27:(4)172-179

Lewis R, Ibbotson R, Kelly S. Student nurses’ career intentions following placements in general practice through the advanced training practices scheme (ATPS): findings from an online survey. BMC Med Educ. 2019; 19:(1)

Gill Meeley N. Undergraduate student nurses’ experiences of their community placements. Nurse Educ Today. 2021; 106

Mishler EG. Research Interviewing: context and narrative.: Harvard University Press; 1986

Murphy F, Rosser M, Bevan R, Warner G, Jordan S. Nursing students’ experiences and preferences regarding hospital and community placements. Nurse Educ Pract. 2012; 12:(3)170-175

Murray-Parahi P, DiGiamico M, Jackson D, Phillips J, Davidson PM. Primary health care content in Australian undergraduate nursing curricula. Collegian. 2020; 27:271-280

NHS England and NHS Improvement. The NHS Long Term Plan NHS Long Term Plan. 2019. (accessed 18 November 2022)

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Future nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses. 2018. (accessed 18 November 2022)

Queens Nursing Institute. Pre-registration community nursing placements. Survey report. 2022. (accessed 18 November 2022)

Reynolds S. A district nurse’s reflection on pre-registration nursing education: a troubling position. Br J Community Nurs. 2022; 27:(11)546-550

Reynolds S, Cooper-Stanton G, Potter A. Real-time simulation: first-hand experience of the challenges of community nursing for students. Br J Community Nurs. 2018; 23:(4)180-183

Stepping out: enabling community access to green space through inter-disciplinary practice learning in Plymouth, UK. 2013.

van Iersel M, de Vos R, van Rijn M, Latour CHM, Kirschner PA, Scholte Op Reimer WJM. Influencing nursing students’ perceptions of community care with curriculum-redesign; a quasi-experimental cohort study. BMC Med Educ. 2019; 19:(1)

van Iersel M, Latour CH, de Vos R, Kirschner PA, Scholte Op Reimer WJ. Nursing students’ perceptions of community care and other areas of nursing practice - A review of the literature. Int J Nurs Stud. 2016; 61:1-19

A university clinic: an innovative model for improving clinical practice. 2010.

Watkinson C, Doley B, Roberts S. Developing a pre-registration community learning programme. Primary Health Care. 2009; 19:(5)36-38

Health Education England. Raising the bar; the shape of caring review. a review of the future education and training of registered nurses and care assistants. 2015.

The truth about district nursing. 2019. (accessed 18 November 2022)

Community nurse lecturers’ experiences of pre-registration nurse education: a phenomenological study

02 January 2023
Volume 28 · Issue 1


The aim of this study was to explore the lived experiences of community nurse lecturers in pre-registration nurse education and to gain insight into the nature of community nursing and its profile within pre-registration nursing. A qualitative phenomenological approach explored pre-registration, adult field nurse lecturers’ experiences of being community nurses and subsequently their experiences of being community nurse lecturers. Three participants audio recorded answers prompted by three questions that allowed for storytelling and prompted memory recall. The results were analysed, and the themes identified were: community nursing is vastly different to hospital nursing, with a notable heightened sense of accountability, lone working and a recognition of experience needed to be a community nurse. When reflecting on their role as lecturers, research participants recalled responses that informed the second theme: the pre-registration adult nursing curriculum was acute care focused and this was also the expectation of students. Results identified tensions between community nursing and critical care nursing, and a loss of identity to which each of them embraced in different ways.

The profile of community nursing is often hidden to the public. Subsequently, the profile of community nursing is often hidden to student nurses entering pre-registration education. This can be influenced by the media’s representation of nurses being the forefront of hospital care, as seen in TV dramas such as ‘Casualty’ and ‘Holby City’ (Lavery and Henshall, 2022). During the COVID-19 pandemic, narratives such as ‘frontline’ were used to imply that only those working in critical care wards were saving lives, while disregarding those staff working in the community, whose roles and routines were also challenged (Green et al, 2020). These assumptions are further strengthened prior to commencing a pre-registration adult nursing degree, where university marketing promotes visibly technical and practical skills associated with acute nursing on open days for adult courses, such as: passing a nasogastric tube or resuscitation of a manikin. However, skills such as health promotion, that are less easy to display, which require more expertise and are associated with community nursing, are considered to be of lower value (Warner et al, 2010; Cooper et al, 2014). Other areas that suggest the community nursing profile is hidden are the emergence of myths (White, 2019; Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), 2022) such as: choosing to work in the community setting after qualification might ‘deskill’ a student or qualified nurse; that one needs at least a year’s experience in hospital before going into district nursing; there are a limited amount of community placements compared to hospital (Byfield et al, 2019; Arnold et al, 2021). Hence, students have limited comparable experience to challenge assumptions regarding nursing in the community setting.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Community Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for district and community nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month